Contact Us

Fall Protection Systems - Simplified Safety

Fall Protection
Safety Equipment
and Solutions

0844 335 8460
Home Blog Safety Blog

Safety Blog

Friday, July 21, 2017

Avoid welding if you can! 5 reasons to use fittings instead

Welding_versus_using_fittings


Welding can be a complex and messy activity that requires thorough planning and a lot of care; where possible, try minimising the need for it as much as you can. This article goes over the advantages of using fittings versus welding (where possible, of course).

1. Quick installation

Fittings: You do not need any specialist training or extra permissions to put together a structure using tube and fittings; with ‘off the shelf’ availability and unique versatility, the system allows you to have your structure ready on the day (depending on complexity, of course), and there is no need for skilled labour or special tools to do this either.

Welding: On the other hand, welding will require a hot works permit and a lot of planning beforehand, which means that you will be waiting much longer for a welded system.

2. Easy maintenance and repair

Fittings: Fittings allow for quick and simple repairs to be carried out to the structure. If one section is damaged, simply unscrew the fittings, remove the damaged section of tubing and replace it on the spot.

Welding: If welded structures are damaged, then full sections (or even the entire structure) need to be removed, replaced and then welded back again by a skilled labourer.

3. Full corrosion protection

Fittings: Kee Klamp fittings are hot dip galvanised to BS EN ISO 1461, providing outstanding protection against corrosion as a given.

Welding: Any welding of galvanised sections on site will burn away the galvanising, leaving the area unprotected and prone to rust. Sometimes, zinc paints are used over the welded sections but these do not offer the same protection as hot dipped galvanising.

4. Safer

Fittings: A system that uses tube and fittings is a straight-forward, safe solution that eliminates hazards such as fires, fumes and potential electric shocks from the start.

Welding: When welding, you need to take a series of hazards into consideration, such as: fume and gases, fire, the lack of oxygen in confined spaces, noise and vibration, and electric shock.

See how you need to prepare before welding according to HSE

5. Consistent quality

Fittings: Fittings are manufactured to strict specifications and they are TÜV certified for strength, manufacturing quality and consistency. TÜV is Europe’s leading independent testing house. This means that for each project that you build using fittings and tube, you know that you can expect consistent quality.

Welding: When welding, you are relying on the quality of the person doing the work. This means that it is hard to obtain consistency in the quality of work, which is not ideal.


Related Entries

Posted on 21/07/17 at 07:56 AM
BloggingFall ProtectionHandrailHSEPersonalPermalink

Thursday, June 29, 2017

KeeGuard: Rooftop safety solution for maintenance staff

KeeGuard for roof maintenance


KeeGuard is a collective roof edge protection system that is easy to install, will not damage the roof membrane and can be removed or reconfigured if necessary. It is a hassle-free solution for those scenarios where you need ongoing anti fall protection for staff responsible for maintenance work on your roof.

KeeGuard for roof maintenance


Easy roof maintenance no matter the weather

DZ Bank in Frankfurt were looking for a system that would protect staff from falls while they performed regular repairs on the roof and general up-keeping. Their green roof areas also needed to be maintained. With these scenarios in mind, the bank required a solution that accommodated a relatively high volume of traffic on the roof.

A roof guardrail improves safety for staff that would not necessarily be trained to work at height; it eliminates the need for special equipment and, most importantly, it makes it easier and safer for staff to get on with their job. This makes work possible at any hour and in almost any kind of weather.

  • Air conditioning servicing
  • Skylight maintenance
  • Solar panel access
  • Roof cleaning and moss removal
  • Maintenance of a green roof.

KeeGuard for roof maintenance


Custom guardrail

Installation

DZ Bank needed to implement 314m of freestanding handrails on 5 roofs and wanted KeeGuard to be powder-coated to match the rest of the building.

In normal weather conditions, a team of 2 men should be able to install 100 linear metres of KeeGuard per day. We provide installation services for KeeGuard but, should you want to install the system yourself, you can buy it as a supply-only solution as well.

Powder-coating

KeeGuard can be powder-coated in any RAL colour and will be configured to suit your specific needs. Both the powder coated and galvanised versions easily withstand poor weather conditions.

Polyester coating is applied to already galvanised products. The lead time for powder coated KeeGuard is around 5 weeks, but it does depend on the size of the project.

KeeGuard for roof maintenance


KeeGuard FAQ

If you are interested in installing a collective protection system but you are not sure whether KeeGuard is suitable for you, read our KeeGuard FAQ or give us a call on 0844 335 8460.



Related Entries

Monday, May 15, 2017

Self-closing stair gates for an office environment

KeeGate industrial safety gate


KeeGate self-closing safety gates are commonly used in an industrial environment. We usually recommend them for roof hatches, open voids or as part of a more complex safety barrier. However, a business in Dubai showed that these gates can easily be integrated within an elegant office.

Why safety gates?

The business was looking for an access solution for their office staircases. The self-closing gates seemed like the perfect fit in this situation as they would:

  • Prevent people falling down the stairs
  • Suggest that access was restricted to the wider public
  • Be easy to install and use
  • Be extremely durable and sustain the effects of a potentially high traffic area.

Industrial self closing gate

Powder coating

The gate was powder coated in white so it would match the office colour scheme. In addition to the gate, two uprights using Kee Klamp fittings and tube were supplied (also powder-coated) to allow the gate to be mounted without modifying the existing steelwork.

As with many of our products, we can offer additional polyester powder-coating on top of the long-term corrosion resistance offered by the standard hot dip galvanising finish.

Examples of this include where roof guardrails have been coloured for higher visibility or to match the clients’ corporate or preferred colour scheme.


Industrial self closing gate


Our KeeGates can quickly be purchased in either a galvanised finish, or in the safety yellow powder-coated finish.

SHOP SELF-CLOSING SAFETY GATES


Industrial self closing gate


Double self-closing gates for wider areas

If you need to fit gates in areas that exceed 1m in width, then you might need a self-closing double gate. These gates self-return using the same spring mechanism as our single gates and are as easy to install as well. They come in 2 parts (each of 0.9m wide) and can be cut to size on site.

We recommend you choose self-closing gates instead of chains, bars or other demarcation methods, as they eliminate the risk of human error.

Questions?

Self-closing gates can be used in a variety of situations. They keep people safe and limit the risk of accidents.

We get a lot of questions about Keegate, so we thought we would answer them for you here:

KeeGate FAQs

If you've got any other questions, please get in touch.


Related Entries

Posted on 15/05/17 at 12:34 PM
BloggingComplianceFall ProtectionProduct InformationPermalink

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Falls from height: How to create an emergency rescue plan that works

Create a rescue plan


By now you are already aware of the Hierarchy of control in fall protection and we have already explained what the difference is between fall arrest and fall restraint.

Today we are talking about rescue plans and what you need to take into account when creating one.


It is your responsibility to ensure that a rescue plan is in place

When using fall arrest systems, you (as an employer or building owner) are obliged by law to have a rescue plan in place, which ensures that a worker can be retrieved as soon as possible should he fall.

Do not rely on the emergency services: it is not their duty to rescue a fallen worker. However, you still need to alert the emergency services as soon as someone falls; they will be able to offer first aid support.


Create a rescue plan


What you need to consider

Risk assessment first

Risk assessment is the first step you need to take before starting any kind of work at height. This should be carried out by surveyors prior to the work starting. If the existing rescue procedures are not considered safe enough, work should not be carried out before a safe solution is found.

Work with a fall protection specialist to help you create a comprehensive rescue plan.

Walk around the premises, think of potential hazards, who might be harmed and how you can minimise the consequences and risks.

PPE during the fall

Everyone working at height needs to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and they need to be trained on how to use it safely as well. The specific PPE that you will use depends on your circumstances and the type of work at height that you do.

Where possible, work in fall restraint rather than fall arrest at all times: done properly, this will significantly reduce the risk of falls by stopping the worker reach dangerous areas in the first place.

However, fall restraint systems are not suitable for all work at height; in this case, fall arrest systems should be used, but extreme care needs to be taken when doing so. No one should ever use fall arrest systems without undergoing rigorous training.

Some PPE manufacturers also provide training courses in fall rescue using their equipment; try to attend these should you have the chance.

At the same time - instead of hard hats, safety helmets (including a chin strap) are recommended for people who may be at significant risk of a fall.


Create a rescue plan


Rescue procedure

  • Decide on a rescue system that will help you retrieve the fallen worker as soon as possible. Will the worker be able to perform a self-rescue or will he need to be assisted?
  • In dangerous situations, workers should always work in teams: if they work alone, it won’t be possible for a rescue procedure to be carried out on time.
  • Preparation is key: make sure that there is a rescue kit at the point of work prior to the work commencing. If you fail to do this, there might not be enough time to collect if should someone fall. This will deem your rescue procedure unsuccessful.
  • When a fall happens, another worker (who has been previously trained in rescue procedures and rescue equipment handling) needs to assess the situation and make contact with the fallen worker, determining his status. In the meantime, the emergency services will need to be contacted and the company alerted about the accident.
  • The next step is to immediately implement the rescue procedure in accordance with the company policy and safety guidelines.
  • There are 4 types of rescue:
    • Lowering a remote casualty
    • Raising a remote casualty
    • Self evacuation by descent
    • Rescue another in descent.
  • It is preferable that the rescuer does not descend and is not suspended while rescuing someone else, so that further complications are avoided. The rescuer should not endanger himself when carrying out a rescue procedure.

Rescue equipment

Depending on the type of work that is carried out, as well as the height of the building or site specific circumstances, you might need to use rescue equipment as simple as a ladder or as complicated as a crane. In some situations, you may have to consider MEWPs (mobile elevating platforms), man-riding baskets for cranes or proprietary rescue systems.

Your rescue plan will need to include:

  • Details of the equipment that you will use for the rescue
  • Configuration of the equipment for different types of rescue
  • Identification of anchor points where necessary
  • Limitations of the rescue plan for adverse weather (wind, snow etc)

Rescue kits for example allow you to either lower the person to the ground or lift them up, depending on the situation. As a building owner/employer, you are obliged to provide an anchorage point on the roof to help complete a rescue safely.

If someone has fallen over an edge, you need to think of the additional friction encountered when trying to raise the fallen worker, the anchor line being at a risk of cutting and generally be aware of the edge interfering with the rescue equipment.

In any case, make sure that the equipment that you will use for a rescue are properly serviced before being put to use. Do not use the equipment for purposes other than which it was intended.

Whatever happens, make sure that there are other trained individuals on the ground that can assist with the rescue plan.


Create a rescue plan


Who you need to call

  • Emergency services: although you should not rely on them to perform the rescue, they will be able to assist, especially in cases of long term suspension, which can be very dangerous.
  • On-site or other medical services: brief them on the type of accident and potential injuries.
  • The company, who will report the accident to HSE (Health & Safety Executive), and will then investigate the incident and take appropriate measures.

Prolonged suspension

Prolonged suspension is a very serious matter and rescuers need to be able to spot the signs of syncope (sudden transient loss of consciousness with spontaneous recovery) as soon as possible.

Light-headedness, nausea, sensations of flushing, tingling or numbness, anxiety and faintness are all signs that you need to look for.

If the person is unconscious while suspended in a harness, he/she needs to be rescued as soon as safely possible.

If an immediate rescue solution is not available, then try to support the fallen worker’s feet to make the restraint a bit more bearable.

Make sure that the fallen worker receives the medical attention he/she needs.

The standard First Aid Recovery position (horizontal) should still be adopted for anyone you rescue. In 2008, the Health and Safety Laboratory agreed on the fact that the sometimes-quoted suggestion of recovery in a semi recumbent or sitting position was without any sound evidence base and may prove dangerous through prolonging the lack of blood return to the brain. However, airway management may determine whether a prone or supine position was used again in accordance with standard UK first aid guidance.


Create a rescue plan


Medical assistance

You will need to consider what kind of medical assistance needs to be given on the spot, as well as what kind of assistance might be needed after the incident. However, under no circumstance should the fallen worker resume his activity on the same day.

Rescue equipment maintenance

You will need to store the rescue equipment in a suitable place and make sure that it is inspected periodically. You will also need to keep records of previous inspections, maintenance and equipment history.

Rescue equipment should be inspected at least once a year, although we recommend doing this more often.


Create a rescue plan


Rescue training

Everyone involved in working at height and rescue procedures should be trained on fall protection, rescue equipment and procedures.

The authorised rescuer must be trained by a competent rescuer trainer and then retrained should the nature of his work change, or if there are other changes in circumstances. He must also be evaluated by a competent trainer at least once annually.

The rescuer should be able to inspect, anchor, assemble and use fall protection and rescue equipment safely. Training should include:

  • Fall hazard recognition
  • Fall hazard control methods
  • Fall protection and rescue procedures
  • Inspection of equipment and systems before use.

All training needs to be well documented; documents need to be archived for a number of years, depending on the situation.


Create a rescue plan


Rescue procedure review

You need to make sure that all rescue procedures are reviewed:

  • After a fall
  • After a change in equipment, working procedures, change in site etc, and
  • At least once a year.

Practice makes perfect

Never leave rescue procedures and fall protection to chance. The consequences can be horrendous and there is no excuse to not comply to the work at height regulations.

When you do have a rescue plan in place, make sure that everyone working at height in your company is familiar with it. Everyone should know who is trained to provide emergency rescues and who to contact in case something goes wrong. Regularly organise rescue drills, making sure that you cover as many scenarios as possible. Know your equipment; know your team.

Further reading



Related Entries

Posted on 20/04/17 at 12:03 PM
Permalink

Thursday, March 23, 2017

100 ways to fall from height: #1 Work from a telehandler without assessing the risks first

Falling from a telehandler

It is important to assess all risks before carrying out any work at height. However, two companies failed to do that after a contractor was killed by falling from a telehandler.

What happened?

A self-employed contractor was working at height, on a telehandler, with a co-worker, when the machine hit a fence. When moving away, the telehandler basket jerked, throwing both operators over its edge. Unfortunately, one of the contractors had not been clipped onto the telehandler basket: he fell to the ground and died.

Avoid this by…

  • Conducting a proper risk assessment. The companies responsible for the work should conduct a thorough initial risk assessment. They should take into consideration all potential risks related to this task, such as:
    • selecting the correct work platform
    • if using a telehandler:
      • how the telehandler travels and how it is set up
      • potential overloading of the vehicle and its speed
    • the terrain and general condition of the working ground
    • wind and weather
    • any potential collision dangers
    • PPE
    • the level of training of the workers, and more.
  • Consulting the manufacturer’s instruction manual and other safety notices. All operators must be familiar with the configuration of the mobile elevating working platform, control functions, manufacturer’s warnings, safety features (such as tilt alarms, limit switch, audio warnings etc) or emergency lowering procedures.
  • Selecting and specifying the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job. A fall protection system needs to be selected before work commences and it should be the result of a job specific risk assessment. When selecting the correct PPE, you also need to take into consideration the manufacturer’s operators’ manual.
    All operators need to be trained on how to correctly use the protective equipment.
    Using a harness for example can prevent being catapulted out of the basket in the result a collision.
    Safety harness/lanyard combinations should only be attached to the anchorage provided by the manufacturer. Never attach a lanyard to any other object or structure outside the platform.
    See our range of personal fall protection systems
  • Making sure that each telehandler operator has had proper training. Telehandler operators need to be trained: for mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP), an operator needs to hold an IPAF PAL (Powered Access Licence) Card. Further evidence of competence and experience is provided by holding and maintaining the IPAF Trained Operator’s Log Book.
    Don’t start any work at height without making sure that your staff or the contractors are trained first; you also need to make them aware of any risks that they might encounter. The lack of training and preparation are some of the biggest causes for accidents at height.

Bad example

Here is an example of how not to use a moving work platform:

Further reading

All MEWP operators are required to operate vehicles in accordance with guidance and legislation as provided by:


Related Entries

Posted on 23/03/17 at 09:07 AM
BloggingComplianceFall ProtectionHSEPPEPermalink

Monday, March 06, 2017

How to prevent falls through a fragile roof: Kee Cover solutions

Kee Cover Solutions for fragile roofs

Nine people die every year falling through a fragile roof, and many more are seriously injured, an HSE report shows. Roof lights or skylights can be a tricky area to work around, so make sure you’ve got all your safety measures in place.

This article talks about the Kee Cover range, a solution designed to protect workers from falling through a roof light, while keeping the building illuminated.

Why do these accidents happen in the first place?

  • Weather and UV damage affect the layers of protection for skylights over time, even when these roof lights had been deemed ‘man safe’ during the manufacturing stage. This means that they can quickly become brittle and unsafe.
  • Older skylights can discolour to such a degree that they blend in with the metal profiled roof. This means that they are easy to step on, making them commonly prone to the highest risk of fall from height.
  • Certain roof sections have not been secured properly in the first place, or the sheets and fixings have reached the end of their design performance.

Kee Cover Solutions for fragile roofs

What is Kee Cover?

Kee Cover is a mesh cover that protects workers against falls through fragile roof lights. The mesh panel top sits onto a metal frame made from Kee Klamp fittings and tube.

Kee Cover is suited to metal profile roofs where inline roof level skylights are common.

This skylight cover is fully hot dip galvanised, which makes it corrosion and UV resistant.

Fully tested and compliant

  • Tested to the Class B criteria and loadings required in the ACR Red Book Test for Non-Fragility of Roof Assemblies
  • Subjected to a drop test of 1200 joules ensuring compliance to BS EN 1873

technical brochure

For more information on the Sky Light Cover including technical information and more:

PDF Download Online Pricing

Have more questions? Ask us on 0844 3358460 or via E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Which Kee Cover should you choose?

  • Standard panel Kee Cover:
    • Low profile
    • Suits in-line skylights
    • Prevents workers falling through the roof
    • May not stop the skylight from being damaged
  • Raised panel Kee Cover
    • Mounted on small legs to maintain a good distance from the roof light
    • Prevents workers falling through the roof
    • Designed not to damage the skylight in the event of a fall
    • Allows the skylight to be cleaned without exposing the worker to risk

For more information…

Simply get in touch if you’ve got a question or would like a quote, or:


Related Entries

Posted on 06/03/17 at 02:58 PM
BloggingFall ProtectionProduct InformationPermalink

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fall arrest vs fall restraint: What is the difference?

Fall arrest vs fall restraint


If you can’t avoid working at height or if collective solutions (such as barriers or guardrails) are unsuitable, then a Personal Fall Protection System (PFPS) is your best bet.

Both Fall Restraint and Fall Arrest systems are Personal Fall Protection Systems and they must be designed to a Fall Arrest standard.

These systems include horizontal lifelines, fixed anchor points or portable anchor points.

Fall arrest vs fall restraint

FALL RESTRAINT

What is Fall Restraint?

Fall Restraint systems prevent you from falling.

They use a body holding device connected to a reliable anchor, preventing you from reaching zones where the risk of fall exists.

Fall restraint is sometimes referred to as ‘Restraint’ or a ‘Work Restraint’ system.

When should you use it?

In the hierarchy of controls, Restraint is preferred to Fall Arrest.

Sometimes, due to restricted free fall distances (e.g. low building height, vehicles, racking or machinery in or around the building reducing available height to have the fall arrested safely), a Restraint system would be the only choice.

Typically, a Restraint system is simpler to use than a Fall Arrest system and is therefore more likely to be used.

Compared to a Fall Arrest system, Fall Restraint does not require a rescue plan.

Fall arrest vs fall restraint

FALL ARREST

What is a fall arrest system?

Fall Arrest systems protect you after you fall: they stop the fall before you hit the surface.

These systems use a body holding device connected to a reliable anchor; they arrest and restrict a fall preventing you from colliding with the ground or structures, whilst limiting the forces on the body.

When should you use it?

When you are working near a fragile surface, narrow ledge or unusual building or roof shape and are using lanyards or a rope, there is a good chance you might fall off or into the building.

This is when you need a Fall Arrest system, together with personal protective equipment (PPE). You also need additional training and, by law, you are required to have a rescue plan in place. This means that you can be retrieved as soon as possible should you fall.

Compare both systems


Fall Restraint Fall Arrest
How does it protect? Prevents people from reaching a fall hazard through a tie off system. Stops a fall that is in progress through a tie off system.
Needed equipment Custom fitted equipment Custom fitted equipment
Training needed Yes, extensive and ongoing Yes, extensive and ongoing
Inspection Must be inspected and cared before and after every use. Must be inspected and cared before and after every use.
Potential for injury Mild High
Costs Lower initial costs but hidden costs might be: training, equipment maintenance, and setup time Lower initial costs but hidden costs might be: training, equipment maintenance, and setup time
Burden to labourer Must inspect and properly wear their equipment Must inspect and properly wear their equipment
EU Directive preference Better than fall arrest Only use as a last resort
Example products A harness and lanyard tied off at a set length from a weighted tie off point A harness and retractable tied off to an anchor point

Do you need additional protection?

According to the ‘Hierarchy of control’, it is better to provide collective fall protection options. Collective fall protection systems include guardrails or skylight protections.

Still not sure which one you need? Get in touch

If you need any advice about choosing the correct system, would like to discuss your working at height requirements or have a safety related question, please get in touch.

Or

Browse our personal fall protection solutions



Posted on 20/02/17 at 10:58 AM
BloggingComplianceFall ProtectionPPEPermalink

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Working at heights: Hierarchy of control

Hierarchy of controls


Assess the risks of working at height and take the necessary measures to avoid accidents by following these steps:

1. Avoid working at height completely

Where possible, use a plant equipment at ground level rather than a roof, or change the equipment altogether.

Example: Use a 'reach and wash system' to clean windows instead of a ladder.


2. Prevent falls using a safe place to carry out work

If you can’t avoid working at height, then designate a 'safe place' where work can be carried out with minimal risks. Additional protective equipment should not be necessary as preventative measures are already in place in this space.

Example: A balcony or parapet.


3. Prevent falls using collective equipment

Install a permanent system that offers a passive solution for multiple workers, such as a physical barrier. This will allow them to concentrate on the job itself rather than the safety system.


4. Use personal protective equipment (PPE): Fall restraint

Fall restraint systems usually include an anchor point and lanyard which prevent workers from reaching a hazard.


5. Minimise the distance the worker could fall

If a fall cannot be avoided, then use collective equipment, such as airbags, to reduce the impact of the fall.


6. Minimise the impact of a fall

Use netting to soften the impact of the fall.


7. Use PPE: Fall arrest

Fall arrest systems should only be used as a last resort and you will need to undergo training to use these. If a worker falls, fall arrest equipment stops the fall before he hits the surface.


8. Minimise risk by undergoing training

Training should focus on safe working practices, as well as on the correct use of relevant equipment.


This article follows the 8 levels of control that Kee Safety have identified for working at heights.

Download the ‘Fall protection hierarchy of control’ infographic



Related Entries

Posted on 09/02/17 at 08:53 AM
BloggingFall ProtectionGeneral NewsHSEPPEPermalink

Monday, January 30, 2017

Unauthorised roof access and falls from height: Could this be your fault?

Unauthorised_roof_access


Question: Someone goes on your roof – even if they shouldn’t be there in the first place - and falls. Whose fault is it?


Answer: It could be yours.


Falls from height form 26% of injuries caused by workplace accidents in the UK; and this number does not take into consideration accidents taking place outside the work environment.

So - what do you do when individuals can gain unauthorised access to an area at height?

Make sure it is impossible for them to get there in the first place

Two teenagers reportedly gained access to a New Look store roof and used the area to ride their scooters and chill out. While waiting for the police as the boys sat on the roof edge, onlookers wondered how they got there in the first place.

Assess risks thoroughly and put appropriate safety measures in place

As a business, you are obliged to look after your customers’ and employees’ safety while on your premises. This means that you need to make sure that you’ve put all measures in place to keep them out of hazardous areas, such as roofs. If you fail to do that, you could be held responsible for any accidents resulting from your omission. This means that you could be found vicariously liable for negligence. Read more about vicarious liability.

What you need to do

  1. Have your site surveyed: Ask for specialist help to assess potential hazards and help you choose the correct safety solutions
  2. Make sure you limit access to hazardous areas: Install safety railing and barrier systems where necessary. Roof edge protection, together with a barrier solution or a self-closing gate could prevent a fall from height.
  3. Add clear signage to warn people of potential hazards.
  4. Implement additional security measures: Train your staff on health and safety procedures, install video cameras or security guards if suitable.

Not sure where to start?

We can assess your site, recommend and build the right safety solutions for your business. Just get in touch.


Related Entries

Posted on 30/01/17 at 09:06 AM
BloggingComplianceFall ProtectionGeneral NewsHandrailPermalink

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Working at height: 4 companies that didn’t take risk assessment seriously

Working at height risk assessment


"Falls from height, and in particular falls involving fragile roofs, are one of the main causes of work-related deaths in Britain. The risks are therefore well-known and documented, as is the guidance on how to reduce these."

HSE inspector Sandra Tomlinson



In previous blog articles we talked about the need to carry out suitable risk assessments when working at height, especially when regular maintenance tasks are identified. This article talks about 4 companies that should have taken a more thorough risk assessment approach.

Failure to produce any initial risk assessment

In the first case, the employee of a major supermarket was said to be lucky to suffer only minor injuries after falling 9 metres through a fragile skylight, landing in the shopping aisles of the store in Wallasey, Merseyside in June 2014. The worker was part of a team carrying out repairs to the store roof and gutters when the incident occurred.

This resulted in the companies involved being fined a total of £500,000.

HSE (the Health and Safety Executive) found that no risk assessment or method statement had been produced prior to carrying out the work.


Working at height risk assessment

Failure to utilise the correct equipment

This second incident shows just how inexcusable not specifying the correct equipment for a recurring task is.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into an incident in May 2015 found that the company had not carried out a suitable risk assessment. The work at height involved closing the zipped flaps on the fabric liners used for containers that were being loaded with malt for export.

A 4-metre long ladder was propped against the rear of the container to gain access to the zip-up flap. The ladder was too long for this purpose and was propped at too shallow an angle, which caused it to slip outwards at the foot. As a result, the agency worker fell with the ladder, sustaining fractures to his right foot, bruising to his chest and head injuries.

The company was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,257.


Working at height risk assessment

Lack of appropriate management supervision

In this third devastating incident, someone paid the ultimate cost, while of course there were also financial implications which could potentially put a company out of business.

Richard Perry, 43, was working with a colleague covering roof lights with blackout vinyl in June 2014 at a company in Bradford. This was in an attempt to block out the sunlight and reduce the heat within the factory. Mr Perry fell 5.5 metres to his death through a fragile roof light to the fabrications department below.

The Company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £120,000 with £37,655 costs by Bradford Crown Court.


HSE Inspector Andrea Jones said:

“Two employees were on the roof for some time with no precautions in place to prevent falling through fragile roof material or off the open edge of the roof. This accident would not have happened if these two employees had been appropriately supervised by management.


Building demolition safety

Lack of planning and adequate safety equipment

This final incident, although not as a result of failings during regular maintenance, is worth mentioning due to the impact of the parties involved.

During a contract to demolish a building, it had originally been planned that plant machinery would be used to remotely bring down the structure. This method would have entailed minimum risk to the workmen tasked with the demolition.

However, between winning the contract and the work actually being carried out, the management decided to instead dismantle the building piece by piece. This meant that workmen had to work at height to remove the roof sheets prior to the structure being unbolted.

Despite one near miss, work resumed but subsequently a worker fell to his death. Two company owners were found guilty: one was jailed for 6 years, fined £400,000 and ordered to pay £55,000 court costs; the other was jailed for 8 months, fined £90,000 and ordered to pay £45,000 court costs.


Take risk assessment seriously

Simplified Safety are always happy to discuss your safety needs - either over the phone or in person, offering a wide range of different solutions depending on your task.

Just get in touch!


Related Entries

Posted on 12/01/17 at 12:42 PM
BloggingFall ProtectionGeneral NewsPermalink

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The low down on working at height

A tragic event in September this year, where a school teacher slipped, fell and broke her leg and subsequently died from complications while putting up a display in her classroom ahead of the new term, put into focus how easily what could be considered a common, ‘simple’ task can go horribly wrong. 

The newspaper coverage did not give enough detail on what happened to comment further on this particular incident, so I will be talking in general terms about working at ‘low heights’.


image courtesy of the HSE


The Working at Height Regulations changed back in 2005 to ‘Work at height means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury.’

I think what affected me the most (again without knowing the exact events of the above) is how often have I personally climbed on top of a chair, table or desk to for example to change a light bulb or reach something off a shelf, without really thinking about the suitability of what I’m standing on simply because it was the easiest option. I bet I’m not alone in having done this.


image courtesy of the HSE


Now I’m not suggesting that every time you want to step off the ground, a meeting of senior management should be arranged and a 300 page risk assessment should be be prepared, but bearing in mind the possible consequences it is worth taking some time out to consider the best course of action before starting that task and if it means delaying it slightly while a suitable piece of equipment or more qualified member of personnel is acquired to carry out the task as safely as possible, then so be it.

Many organisations will already have procedures in place and have that communicated to all staff and  if not then they should, but it is obviously difficult to cover every eventuality. Where it is possible to minimise risk is for ‘regular tasks’ i.e. something that is done at least once a year. Then as a result of a risk assessment a suitable piece of equipment can be selected and appropriate training provided or it may be a case of moving something stored ‘out of reach’ to a position where it can be easily accessed without having to climb.


image courtesy of the HSE


Consider also then areas where staff are required to access, similar requirements may be needed on a roof or on a factory floor, a piece of plant or equipment may need to be accessed that requires someone to climb a short distance to reach it, a permanent work platform may be the most suitable solution so the access is always available and in the case of a roof the access equipment doesn’t need to be taken up each time minimising those associated hazards.

Where steps or platforms are already in place could they be further enhanced by adding a self closing gate to minimise falls at the access point?

Whatever your working at height query, at Simplified Safety we’re always pleased to help with advice and if necessary provide an on-site meeting to discuss your requirements.

Related Entries

This post contributed by:

Paul Magee

Simplified Safety / Website Manager

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

0844 335 8460

http://www.simplifiedsafety.co.uk

Posted on 01/11/16 at 03:15 PM
Fall ProtectionPermalink

Friday, October 21, 2016

Protecting mezzanines and loading bays- choices for the discerning pallet.

We have recently increased our range of gates, in addition to our popular self-closing gates, to include a DOUBLE SELF CLOSING GATE for openings up to 1800mm wide and a range of four PALLET GATES to protect workers loading mezzanines and loading bays.



KEE GATE Pallet Gates are constructed using standard galvanised tube and KEE KLAMP and one model with lightweight aluminium tube and KEE LITE fittings.

In the event of the pallet safety gate being damaged by a forklift or general use, the individual fittings and sections can be easily replaced without having to replace the whole unit, using standard tools, something that can’t be done with a pallet gate that has been welded and fabricated.

Galvanised steel and aluminium offers a long term corrosion resistance and each model is also available in high visibility powder-coated yellow.

The Gates have been designed to be well balanced for an easy open and close action and incorporate a 150mm ‘toe-board’ mounted on mezzanine edge side to protect workers below.

The adaptability of Kee Klamp & Kee Lite fittings also means our range of pallet gates can be easily integrated into existing handrails or we would be pleased to advise and quote on a complete handrail and pallet gate system, either supply only or to include installation. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your needs further or for us to provide a free site survey


KEE GATE Pallet Gates Options

The KEE GATE Pallet Gates range has been designed to be fully adjustable in width and can accommodate openings up to 1.8m. Our pallet gates are available in four different configurations to suit the type of operation required.

 

Pallet Gate Type A – Standard Model

Galvanised steel, the ‘Type A’  STANDARD Pallet Gate accepts pallets up to 1.4m x 1.48m with a maximum height capacity of 1.6m.

Available In Galvanised steel or yellow powder-coated options

Pricing and more details can be found here

Standard Pallet Gate



Pallet Gate Type B – Narrow Frame Model

Taking up less room than the standard model, the design of this gate means less floor space is required to load and unload pallets ideal for use on mezzanines or loading bays where space is limited.

Accepts pallets up to 1.4m x 1.48m with a maximum height capacity of 1.8m.

Available in Galvanised steel or yellow powder-coated options

Pricing and more details can be found here

Narrow Frame Pallet Gate



Pallet Gate Type C – Tall Pallet Model

This model offers the tallest capacity of the Kee Gate Pallet Gate range.

Accepts pallets up to 1.4m x 1.48m with a maximum height capacity of 2.2m.

Pricing and more details can be found here

Tall Pallet Gate



Pallet Gate Type D – Extra Wide Model

Offering the widest load capacity of the Kee Pallet Gates range, the design of this gate provides maximum load width of 1.9m, whilst also offering 2m head clearance for workers.

Accepts pallets up to 1.4m x 1.9m with a maximum height capacity of 1.6m.

Available in lightweight aluminium or yellow powder-coated options

Pricing and more details can be found here

Tall Pallet Gate

Related Entries

This post contributed by:

Paul Magee

Simplified Safety / Website Manager

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

0844 335 8460

http://www.simplifiedsafety.co.uk

Posted on 21/10/16 at 03:21 PM
Fall ProtectionPermalink

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

KeeGuard Installation Video

To confirm how simple and quick it is to install the KeeGuard System we’ve created this video to provide an overview.



The video has been designed to act as an introduction for those who have never installed it before, as a general reference for those who require the system installing on their behalf and reminder for people who are already familiar with the system.

The video’s easy to understand guidelines are based on the KeeGuard Instructions for Use and can be used to assist anyone quickly and safely construct a complete free-standing roof guardrail.

Learn more about our KeeGuard edge protection system on our website, or give us a call.

Related Entries

This post contributed by:

Paul Magee

Simplified Safety / Website Manager

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

0844 335 8460

http://www.simplifiedsafety.co.uk

Posted on 04/10/16 at 08:39 AM
Fall ProtectionGeneral NewsProduct InformationTrainingVideoPermalink

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fragile Skylight and rooflight protection for metal profile roofs.

In a previous article we’ve discussed the issues around falls through sky lights and rooflights and the importance of protecting them and detailing the options, in this article we are discussing specifying the Kee Cover fragile roof light cover in particular.



Even when designed to be ‘non-fragile’ many factors have an affect on how long that non-fragility can be maintained so where in doubt we offer the Kee Cover fragile rooflight cover (the National Association for Rooflight Manufacturers offers advice here).

Industrial buildings by their design are required to have multiple in-plane roolights, sometimes totalling in the hundreds.  If it is uneconomic to protect all, then is it an acceptable solution to protect some? If so, which?

As with any work at height any controls need to be selected as the result of a risk assessment and the identified task to be carried out on the roof needs to be specific. What that means is it often isn’t possible to provide a fall prevention system to try to cover every eventuality often not without incurring excessive cost or in the end creating a fall protection system that isn’t fit for purpose.

If for example you have workers who need to regularly access a piece of plant for maintenance it makes sense to work out a safe path to that equipment, ideally indicated by a designated walkway or identified route. So it makes sense that KEE COVER fragile roof light covers would be protecting roof lights adjacent to the roof access point and along the designated route.

It is quite common to specify a horizontal lifeline system (HLL) for this kind of access, keeping the user in restraint, so being unable to reach a fragile roof light and can be the most economic solution.

It may in fact be better to specify a combination of both a HLL and KEE COVER fragile rooflight covers due to factors such as mis-use, unsuitable connectors, not having the correct space between rooflights or unsuitable roof shape to allow a HLL system alone to be correctly configured in restraint.




The KEE COVER is available in two options- standard or raised, while both have been designed to  stop a person falling through a rooflight the raised version has been designed to not damage the rooflight underneath should someone fall onto it, important to think about where machinery (resulting in costly down-time) or staff underneath would be adversely affected if the skylight above was damaged and resulted falling fragments. This consideration and the cost to repair or replace a damaged rooflight in the event of an incident may be a factor in which would be the raised model may be the preferred choice.

As with all of our systems we are pleased to discuss your requirements and offer a free site survey if required.

If you require online pricing, click here:

Related Entries

This post contributed by:

Paul Magee

Simplified Safety / Website Manager

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

0844 335 8460

http://www.simplifiedsafety.co.uk

Posted on 22/09/16 at 03:19 PM
BloggingFall ProtectionPermalink

Friday, September 02, 2016

A Simplified Guide To DDA Handrail

Written by our US site Simplified Building Concepts, we have adapted it for the UK and the UK Disability Discrimination Act.

This guide has a variety of information tailored towards introducing a beginner to the KeeAccess modular handrail system

image

The Simplified DDA manual, guides you in the assembly of parts, gives details information on general guidelines and tips on how best to position the handrail

image

To see more on our DDA handrail contact us here: or veiw our NEW: Simplified DDA Manual.

Related Entries

This post contributed by:

Paul Magee

Simplified Safety / Website Manager

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

0844 335 8460

http://www.simplifiedsafety.co.uk

Posted on 02/09/16 at 02:56 PM
Permalink
Page 1 of 7 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »